Knockrose, which has been in Trish’s family for over 200 years, is situated 500 feet above sea level nestling on the shoulder of The Scalp, a geological feature formed by the melting waters of a glacier. Tom and Trish Farrell are the owners and custodians of this beautifully cultivated unique garden, which is backed by an old mixed forest. Attached to a traditional farmhouse and farm buildings, built on the site of a castle at the edge of The Pale between the border of Dublin and Wicklow, the garden has been evolving over the last seventy years.
The organic 1 acre/.5 hectare garden is packed with a wide variety of cottage garden plants, shrubs and trees interspersed with areas of lawn, a vegetable plot and secluded seating. Early May sees the scented deciduous azaleas in bloom and mid- June/early July is heavenly perfumed by roses and philadelphus. Old granite mushrooms, stepping stones and standing stones along with a variety of Susan Cuffe copper wire sculptures (www.susancuffe.ie) feature throughout.
The soil pH runs from neutral to acidic in a sloping garden which has evolved over time into various ‘rooms’. Some of these rooms have circular mossy lawns surrounded by large old specimens of Magnolia soulangeana, Pittosporums tenuifolium and ‘Silver Queen’, Luma apiculata ‘Glanleam Gold’ and a Fern bed dominated by a large Dicksonia antarctica. The little Summerhouse and various garden seats are great places to sit and listen to the birdsong which floats in from the adjoining ancient mixed forest. The wildlife pond is surrounded by mossy granite stones and seeps out to an area for damp-loving plants. Mixed herbaceous beds are located throughout the whole garden and many of them contain bird baths for our feathered friends. A lavender-edged gravel area contains an old Famine Pot (now in use as a tiny pond) which was used here in Knockrose during the Famine years of 1845-1852. This area is backed by roses and clematis which climb on a fence constructed from old horse-drawn harrows which were used on the farm up until the mid-1960’s. Re-cycling and re-purposing is the order of the day!
This garden is a very special place worthy of visits from horticulturists, hobby gardeners and those who just enjoy beautiful, peaceful, spiritual surroundings.
Travelling on the M50, take Exit 15 signposted Kilternan. Follow signs for Kilternan and when you reach a set of traffic lights at a T junction (Farmer Browns Traditional Pub and Restaurant will be opposite you), turn Left onto R117 Dundrum/Enniskerry road. Knockrose is situated 2 miles away on the Scalp, opposite the Ski Club of Ireland slopes and beside Scalp Wood Nurseries.
SatNav Coordinates: 53.221238,-6.181807
Travelling from Enniskerry: after 2 miles you will pass through The Scalp, a steep v-shaped valley. You will pass 2 houses on the left-hand side of the road and then Knockrose is the first entrance on the Right (concealed, and immediately after a sharp right-hand bend)
Travelling from Kilternan village, it is the 1st entrance on the left after Scalp Wood Nurseries.
May to September, by appointment only.
Guided tours – (Allow approximately 1 hour). Plants for sale. Not suitable for wheelchairs or children. No dogs.
Studio available to rent, suitable for meetings, Art workshops, Art Exhibitions, etc.
The Calm House is available for Yoga, Meditations, Art Exhibitions, Lectures, etc.
The Calm House and Garden are available for Small Intimate Wedding Ceremonies.
Powerscourt House & Gardens
Enniskerry Victorian Village
Johnnie Fox’s Traditional Pub
Best time to visit:
Mid May – August.
Patricia & Tom Farrell